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jrenfen

My Mom - Celiac, Or Not?

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Hi All!

My 51yr old mom has been experiencing chronic diarrhea for almost 2 years. It started around the time her mom passed, so we all figured it was stress/emotions and it would pass. It didn't. After many doctors visits (as I'm sure many of you have been through) she was diagnosed with celiac disease. I am familiar with it as my doctor thought I had it and put me on a gluten free diet for a year (turns out I needed my gallbladder removed and now I'm fine) but I did practice gluten-free for a year so I gave my mom all of my books, got her hooked up with a support group, and helped her shop for and make new gluten-free recipes. She is very conscious about cross contamination, etc. and has been eating gluten-free for 7 months.

Her diarrhea never went away. She's lost a lot of weight in 2 years, she's about 115lbs (she's only 5 ft tall) so it's not an unhealthy weight, but the amount that she has lost since having this constant diarrhea is a lot very quickly and I would guess it'll keep coming off if there is no resolution. She's getting depressed because it's hard to go anywhere, she will literally go in her pants it's that bad. When she has to go, she HAS to go and its liquid. I know it takes time to heal, but to still have 24/7 diarrhea?

She's never had any major medical issues and with me having had thyroid cancer, I can certainly attest that it can be very frustrating and depressing going through something for such a long time with no "hope in sight." I hate seeing her like this because it's not like her! She's had tests for parasites, general blood work, stool tests, etc. and is trying to get a colonoscopy scheduled.

My question is, what other types of Autoimmune/Gastro issues cause chronic, constant diarrhea? I do not doubt that she may have celiac, but with zero improvement in symptoms, I think it may be in conjunction with something else, or caused by another issue? Can the test results be mimicked by another disease? She's had lots of tests, but here are her last two celiac test results:

Any ideas/help/opinions are greatly appreciated! Just trying to figure out what direction to look in!

12/1/14
IGA 70-400 MG/DL - 116
TISSUE TRANSGLUTAMINASE IGA - MODERATE TO STRONG POSITIVE
GLIADIN IGA NEG UNITS - MODERATE TO STRONG POSITIVE

6/17/14
IGA - 158
TISSUE TRANSGLUTAMINASE IGA - MODERATE TO STRONG POSITIVE
GLIADIN IGA NEG UNITS - MODERATE TO STRONG POSITIVE

THANK YOU!

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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Sorry to hear about your mom.

Did she get an endoscopy after the positive celiac blood tests? They usually check for SIBO then. A colonoscopy could reveal things like ulcerative colitis, etc.

You should get tested for celiac disease. Gallbladder issues are common for celiac disease folks. After mine was removed (non-functioning) I felt great. Turns out I was still anemic and unknowingly had celiac disease. I had no abdominal issues at the time of my diagnosis, just the anemia which was always masked by a genetic anemia and heavy periods. It took one savvy GI to recognize my celiac disease. I had both the endo and a routine colonoscopy done at the same time.

Of course, I am assuming that she is compliant with the diet and understands about cross contamination.

I hope this helps!

Oh, the University of Chicago's celiac website has a wealth of knowledge -- especially about diagnostic requirements.


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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The ttG IgA can be a (weak) positive when one has thyroiditis, colitis, crohn's, diabetes (type 1), or chronic liver disease.  They generally do not cause a moderate to strong test result though.  To me, her tests and symptoms would indicate celiac disease.  It may take months for symptoms to improve so encourage her to be patient.

 

Hyperthyroidism can sometimes cause D. It could be something to check into.


Nicole 

"Acceptance is the key to happiness."

ITP - 1993

Celiac - June, 2012

Hypothyroid - August, 2012

CANADIAN

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I think she should have an endoscopy and colonoscopy. My dad dealt with this and it turns out it was colon cancer, he died 10 years ago. It probably isn't that! But I would suggest that they try and rule out other things, too.


Diagnosed with Hashimoto's 2/2012. Thyroid tumor removed 4/2012. Positive AGA IGA blood test 3/2012.

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